Another 204 people have died of coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total figure to 40,465, the Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed.
NHS England recorded 75 deaths in hospitals, while across all settings, Wales announced 10 deaths, Scotland six and Northern Ireland one.
Combining those figures gives a total of 92, meaning 112 of the deaths are likely to have happened in care homes and the wider community in England.
Apart from the US, the UK is the only country to have recorded more than 40,000 deaths.
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However, the true figure is estimated to be much higher as the government only counts deaths where people have died after being tested positive for Covid-19.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and its counterpart bodies in Northern Ireland and Scotland, show more than 50,000 people have died when suspected coronavirus cases are considered.
That is more than twice the total the government’s chief scientific adviser said would be a ‘good result’.
With the UK’s death toll the second highest in the world, public health officials are expressing unease that lockdown is being lifted too soon.
This week, the UK recorded more daily deaths on Wednesday than the whole of the EU combined and the ‘R’ rate – the rate the virus reproduces – shot to one in the North West and South West.
Previously ministers have said they will move towards ‘local lockdowns’ to deal with any regional outbreaks and the use of tracking and tracing should the spread start to increase again, but the national tracing system is not yet fully operational and plans for localised action have not yet been finalised.
Recent changes to lockdown mean people have been allowed to meet up in groups of six outdoors since June 1st, open air markets have reopened and some children are back in the classroom.
From June 15, all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen with social distancing measures in place. From this date, wearing face masks on public transport will be mandatory to prevent infection spreading.
Those who refuse to comply with the new regulations could be refused travel and could be fined under the National Rail Conditions of Travel and the Public Service Vehicle Regulations for Buses.
In further coronavirus updates today, it was reported that Sunday trading laws are set to be suspended and pubs will be given fast-track measures to allow them to serve food and drink outside.
Meanwhile, a group of scientists and medics have written to the government calling for a urgent public inquiry to prepare the UK for a ‘probable’ second wave of coronavirus in winter.
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